Monday, September 19, 2016

Chemo, Baseball, Haiti... A Family Update...

A few days before my first surgery August 18th, we had my sister-in-law at Ash Aspen Photography take family photos. We are really happy with how they turned out! Below is one of our favorites! Here is the link if you want to check them all out.

How am I feeling?  The last time I updated, the kids were starting school and I had gotten news of needing another surgery and a chemo start date. Since that last update, I had surgery to remove some skin and a port placed for chemo on Sept 2nd. Unfortunately, a non-serious complication developed from that surgery requiring a third surgery 6 days later. Those were a tough 5-6 days for me and to be honest, I was in pain and feeling pretty discouraged. Thankfully, since then, I've been feeling better and better each day, so much so, that I've been doing normal activities for a week now. It's been a blessing just to feel mostly normal. We got the pathology report back from the skin removal and it was cancer-free and we now have clear margins. We have been praising the Lord for that good news!

Tomorrow is the big day: Chemo Start Day. It feels like the beginning of the next big phase in this cancer fight... one that should last 4-5 months. It's hard to think ahead over the next few weeks as I have no idea how I will feel or what life will look like. Please be praying with us for minimal side effects and good tolerance. I'm told to expect to start losing my hair around 2 weeks after the start. I've also been encouraged to mention every little thing to the nurses/doctor. Seems like they have ways to minimize/control many of the side effects. 

Rob is going to Haiti for 5 days Next Week.  Please be praying for him as he travels and for the rest of us here at home.  We will have help if we need it, but it will be hard for him to be gone.  Rob is excited about seeing the team in Haiti.  The visit will be packed with lots of reunions and planning meetings.

Last week, I enjoyed participating in a class the American Cancer Society offers called "Look Good, Feel Better." I was one of six ladies with cancer participating, and I was by far the youngest one! It was a lot of fun learning make-up tips and tricks as well as understanding skin care during chemo. We also explored hats and scarves and some of the ladies tried on and picked out wigs. (You won't see me in a wig, it's just not me). We went home with a goody bag of free products. It was fun.

The kids have adjusted very well to school and we are starting to fall into a routine. In fact, we are already at the point where it is hard to get two of them out of bed in the morning. Somehow that makes everything feel normal!

Drew has been playing fall baseball, a dream come true for him. He is loving every minute and really learning a lot and improving. He's had two games so far and his team has won both of them. It's been fun to go to his games on Saturdays and cheer his team on. He's had his first strikeout, hit, walk and groundout and has played a few different positions in the field. 

Many of you have asked how you can help or have said to let you know if we need something. Please, keep praying! And the words of encouragement mean more than you'll ever know. We know there are SO MANY of you lifting us up. It is such a testimony of God's love, goodness and faithfulness. After surgery, a friend set up a meal sign-up and it has been a huge blessing to our family. Since chemo is starting, she has extended it into October. If you are in South Jersey and want to help out in that way, here is the link to sign up.